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Posts Tagged ‘cure’

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with my mind. Depression sucks and with everything I have going on lately, it’s choosing to rear its ugly head. I won’t go into excruciating detail, but feelings of failure, uselessness, and hopelessness have been creeping in whenever it seems I have a free minute, telling me that I’m worthless, not thin enough, ugly, undereducated, not taken seriously, my dreams are stupid and I’ll never attain them. I hate feeling this way; it’s unproductive and I am trying to do everything I can to combat it. Fortunately, I don’t have depression to the point where I can’t function. I still wake up every day, go to work and do a good job, go to rehearsal, I interact with everyone normally. In fact, unless you know me very, very well, you’d never guess I had depression. I’m good at covering, at looking happy, but in my head, there’s a war going on.

I haven’t written in weeks, the will to do it has been absent, but, finally, the fog is starting to lift a bit and I’m feeling inspired again. I’m picking myself up off the floor, ready to try again. I owe that to my family and, as my therapist tells me, I owe it to myself.

Driving home from work one day this past week, I had an idea: The Joy Project. I’ve written before about counting my blessings, but this project will be focusing on finding one thing every day that brings me joy, something like the Thankfulness Project that is popular on Facebook every November. I won’t be posting these joys daily, unless it’s something really exceptional, because I know that would be tiresome to read on a newsfeed every day, but it’s a new strategy for me to try and stave off the bad feelings, or at least help when they come creeping around.

Let me be clear, depression is a condition. It’s not feeling sorry for oneself, it’s not just ordinary sadness. It’s a chemical reality that affects millions of people to different degrees, from just occasional bouts to chronic, debilitating periods of blackness. Mine is manageable, albeit chronic, and I was probably genetically programmed for it from the start. A traumatic childhood probably amplified the effects, but that’s just a guess.

Since this is my blog, I get my own soapbox and while I’m on it, I just want to say that there is a dangerous movement out in the Christian evangelical world that any kind of mental illness, including depression, can be “cured” if the sufferer prays hard enough. Oh. My. Gosh. That idea is not even close to being okay. If I could pray depression away, it would have been gone long ago. I cannot think of a more damaging thing to tell someone who is depressed than it’s their own fault because they didn’t pray hard enough. Complete and utter bull poo. Does that mean I don’t believe in miracles, or that God can work in someone’s life? Absolutely not. I just believe a miracle is a miracle for a reason, it’s rare. No, I don’t have depression because of a lack of faith or for not trying hard enough. I have a chronic condition that will probably never be cured completely, but with hard work (and prayer), I will be able to manage it better over time. There done with that. Back to the happy stuff.

I’ve been finding things to be joyful about for the past few days. Marty Man waited up for me (twice!) while I was at a late rehearsal this week and he didn’t have to. My director told me that I did a good job as his assistant. We got a nice card in the mail from our choir director. Youngest Child needed some snuggle time. Today’s joy? Tap Club. I’m a beginning tap dancer with a very patient teacher and I wasn’t able to go to class all summer. We started up again last Saturday and when I got to class today, I felt amazing. I’m not very good, but you would never know it from the people there. Most of them are a million times better than me, they’ve been dancing since they were small, but somehow, I never feel like a complete idiot in that class. The atmosphere is warm, literally and figuratively, and I love it. They accept me, missteps and all. Today, Tap Club brought me joy.

I’ll probably check in here from time to time with how it’s going. I think that the more we talk about things like depression, as a society, the less the stigma will be. It’s my hope that people who are struggling realize that it’s okay to seek help and to get treatment, whether medicinal, therapeutic, or both. In the meantime, I’m going to write my joys down in a little book and keep it with me, do something proactive to ad to my strategies. Please feel free to tell me what brings you joy, especially if you suffer with depression as well. Let’s help each other.

Until next time.

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